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Reluctant, meets the rude embrace,
And bleats among the howling race.
With horror oft her eyes behold
Her murder'd kindred of the fold;
Each day a sister-lamb is serv’d,
And at the glutton's table carv'd;
The crashing bones he grinds for food,
And flakes his thirst with streaming blood.
Love, who the cruel mind detests,
And lodges but in gentle breasts,
Was now no more. Enjoyment paft,
The savage hunger'd for the feast;
But (as we find in human race,
A mask conceals the villain's face)
Justice must authorize the treat ;
'Till then he long'd, but durft not eat,
As forth he walk'd, in quest of prey,
The hunters met him on the way;
Fear wings his flight; the marsh he fought;
The snuffing dogs are set at fault.
His stomach baulk’d, now hunger gnaws,
Howling, he grinds his empty jaws;
Food muft be had, and lamb is nigh;
His maw invokes the fraudful lie.
Is this (dissembling rage, he cry'd)
The gentle virtue of a bride?
That, leagu'd with man's destroying race,
She sets her husband for the chace ?
By treach'ry prompts the noisy hound
To fcent his footsteps on the ground?
Thou trait’ress vile! for this thy blood
Shall glut my rage, and dye the wood!
So saying, on the lamb he flies,
Beneath his jaws the victim dies.
OON as the morning trembles o'er the sky,
And, unperceiv’d, unfolds the spreading day ;
Before the ripened field the reapers fand,
In fair array; each by the lass he loves,
To bear the rougher part, and mitigate
By nameless gentle offices her toil.
At once they stoop, and swell the lusty fheaves;
While thro' their chearful band the rural talk,
The rural scandal, and the rural jest,
Fly harmless, to deceive the tedious time,
And steal unfelt the sultry hours away.
Behind the mafter walks, builds up the shocks ;
And conscious, glancing oft on every side
His fated eye, feels his heart heave with joy.
The gleaners spread around, and here and there,
Spike after spike, their scanty harvest pick,
Be not too narrow, husbandmen! but fling
From the full fheaf, with charitable stealth,
The liberal handful. Think, oh grateful think!
How good the God of Harvest is to you ;
Who pours abundance o'er your flowing fields ;
While these unhappy partners of your kind
Wide-hover round you, like the fowls of heaven,
And ask their humble dole. The various turns
Of fortune ponder; that your
may want What now, with hard reluctance, faint, ye give.
The lovely young Lavinia once had friends;
And fortune smil'd deceitful on her birth.
For, in her helpless years depriv'd of all,
Of every stay, fave innocence and Heaven,
She, with her widow'd mother, feeble, old,
poor, liv'd in a cottage, far retir'd
Among the windings of a woody vale;
By folitude and deep surrounding shades,
But more by bashful modesty, 'conceal’d.
Together thus they shunn'd the cruel fcorn
Which virtue, funk to poverty, would meet
From giddy passion and low-minded pride :
Almost on nature's common bounty fed;
Like the gay birds that sung them to repose,
Content, and careless of to-morrow's fare.
Her form was fresher than the morning rose,
When the dew wets its leaves ; unstain’d, and pure,
As is the lily, or the mountain snow.
The modeft virtues mingled in her eyes,
Still on the ground dejected, darting all
Their humid beams into the blooming flowers :
Or when the mournful tale her mother told,
Of what her faithless fortune promis'd once,
Thrill'd in her thought, they, like the dewy star
Of evening, shone in tears. A native grace
Sat fair-proportion’d on her polish'd limbs,
Veil'd in a simple robe, their best attire,
Beyond the pomp of dress; for loveliness
Needs not the foreign aid of ornament,
But is when unadorn’d adorn'd the most.
Thoughtless of beauty, she was beauty's self.
Recluse amid the close-embowering woods,
As in the hollow breast of Appenine,
Beneath the shelter of encircling hills,
A nyrtle rises, far from human eye,
And breathes its balmy fragrance o'er the wild;
So flourish'd blooming, and unseen by all,
The sweet Lavinia ; till, at length, compellid
By strong neceffity's supreme command,
With smiling patience in her looks, she went
To glean Palemon’s âelds. The pride of swains
and the rich;
Who led the rural life in all its joy
And elegance, such as Arcadian song
Transmits from ancient uncorrupted times;
When tyrant custom had not shackled man,
But free to follow nature was the mode.
He then, his fancy with autumnal scenes
Amusing, chanc'd beside his reaper train
To walk, when poor Lavinia drew his eye ;
Unconscious of her power, and turning quick
With unaffected blushes from his gaze:
He saw her charming, but he saw not half